Seven little known facts of Bhima

Bhima – a wise person

Contray to belief that he was strong and could be easily provoked, few of  know that he was a level headed person and he had a good sense of good and bad. Following are the few stories which uncover a part of him, which is sensitive. Read on.

Airavat – The vehicle of Indra danced to the tunes of Bhima

One of the exploits of Bhima was to bring Airavat, the vehicle of Indra from heaven. Once, a ritual was to be performed by Kunti and Gandhari, which required Airavat to be present.

Airawat - The vehicle of Indra
Airawat – The vehicle of Indra

Kauravas made the elephant out of mud and performed the ritual but Bhima brought original Airawat to do the ritual. Arjuna facilitated by making a path of arrows from heaven to earth.
Bhima then starts his way and fights with the elephant and brings it down to earth. Kunti, thus performed the ritual with grandeur as compared to kauravas.

Humble Bhima

Perhaps the strongest person in the world at that point of time, but he was humility personified. When Shri Krishna asked them to provide an account of their powers, Bhima was most modest. Shri Krishna later told him that actually he was thousand times more accomplished than what he thinks of himself.

The greatest praise to him comes from Duryodhana. He names Bhima, Balarama, Keechaka and Shalya as the best warriors and the strongest. He named Bhima as the first person.

The righteous Bhima

He was not only the strongest person on earth, he had the measure of good and bad and was never afraid of saying the right things. During the game of dice, Bhima is the one who opposed the whole incident.

Yudhishthira playing Dice game
Yudhishthira playing Dice game

He rebukes Yudhishthira for getting into the game by suggesting that his hands should be burnt. When Arjuna tells him that he cannot do that to his older brother, Bhima reveals to everyone the Dharma that when elders commit mistakes, younger ones have to make it known and that mere mentioning of a punishment is enough and actual execution is not required. Thus Bhima punishes Yudhishthira for wrong doing, which is commendable and shows that he had an astute mind. He later on vowed to break Duryodhana’s thighs and drink blood from Dushashana’s heart.

Escape from Lakshagriha would not have possible without him

While Pandavas were trying to escape Lakshagriha, there was a long tunnel made which connected the palace to the outer world. The path was long and could have tired all the Pandavas while escaping. The mighty Bhima, carried all pandavas and his mother on his soldiers and took them to safety. His strength and power indeed came handy while escaping Lakshagriha.

Pandavas escaping from Lakshagriha
Pandavas escaping from Lakshagriha

He left his wife for his brothers and mother

While Pandavas escaped the fire of Lakshagriha, they were spending time in a forest. That forest was the abode of demon Hidimb and his sister, Hidimba. When Hidimb came to know about the five brothers and their mother, He ordered Hidimba to make kill the pandavas as they will become his food. As Bhima was guarding Pandavas, Hidimba could not do as instructed. Enraged, Hidimb himself ventured out in quest of human flesh, but was duly killed by Bhima.
After killing Hidimb, Bhima wanted to kill Hidimba too as he thought that she might want to avenge her brother’s death. But the almighty has other ideas. Hidimba was attracted to Bhima and wanted to marry, but he declines, as he did not want to be away from his brothers. Hidimba then begged Kunti to allow Bhima to marry her as she was deeply in love with him and also because she was all alone now. After pondering for a while, Kunti ordered Bhima to marry Hidimba. Bhima reluctantly agreed on the condition that he could leave her once she bore a child with him. She agreed and they got married. Within a year, Hidimba gave birth to a son and Bhima left her to be with his brothers.

 

Kichaka’s, the mighty warrior punished for untowards advances towards Draupadi

Another deed of Bhima was of killinh of Kichaka. Kichaka was the commander of Matsya desh, where pandavas were hiding in agyaatvaas. Once he rteurns fromthe war and gets attracted to Draupadi, who eas acting as sairandhri. Against the advise of queen. he starts to make improper advances towrds her. In dire need of help, Bhimasena comes to her rescue. Draupadi calls Kichaka in a forest there Bhima was waiting for him.. Afetr a great fight. kichaka was killed by Bhima. He had 105 brothers, who wanted to burn Draupadi alongwith their brother, they also met the same fate as of Kichaka.

Bhima killing Kichaka
Bhima killing Kichaka

Bhima’s family and wives

Besides Draupadi, Bhima had two more wives. One was the demon Hidimba, who had a son called Ghatotkacha. He played an important role in the Kurukshetra war. From Draupadi, he begotten a son called Sutasoma. Third of his wives was Balandhara, who was the daughter of ruler of Kashi. His name was Satsoma. He later became the King of Kashi. This is notable that he did not ascend to the throne after Yudhishthira despite being elder to Parikshit. Ghatotkacha and Sutasoma have both died in the war of Mahabharata.

Arjuna and Kirata

Arjuna receiving Pashupata

 Arjuna and Kirata

There is a humbling story about Arjuna who was humbled by Kirata. The world’s greatest archer, did not know how to beat an ordinary Kirata. He was made to understand that being greatest archer did not mean he was invincible.

Mukasura and his death

Arjuna did great penance in quest of Divyastras. Just when he was completing his worship, a demon named Mukasura, came to kill him. Being an accomplished archer, took aim of the beast and killed the demon, which took the form of a boar. As he killed the demon, he noticed another arrow in the body of the boar.

Argument between Kirata and Arjuna

Surprised and thinking that who could have killed the boar, he went about to examine the kill. It happened that a kirata (hunter) has shot the arrow and claimed the boar. He became angry with him saying that he deserves the prey as the hunter has killed the boar from behind. Kirata countered that there is no rule saying that a prey cannot be killed from behind.

Kirata and Arjuna
Kirata and Arjuna

Arjuna worships Lord Shiva

After the argument, a fight broke between them and to his surprise, his adversary happened to be an equal warrior. More surprise was in store as Arjuna was losing the battle, first in archery, then as wrestlers. Hapless, he decided to worship Lord Shiva and made a shivlinga on the earth. Then he brought some flowers and worshipped Lord Shiva. When he decided to face the hunter again, to his surprise, he found the flowers on Kirata.

Lord Shiva gives Pashupata to Arjuna

He understood that this hunter was Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva bestowed his blessings on him and he said that he wanted to test him whether he was worthy of Pashupata-astra. This weapon was the ultimate weapon to have in one’s armoury. Lord said that he was happy with Arjuna’s skills and he would bestow his blessings on him. In this way, Arjuna got his lesson and the Pashupata-astra, the great weapon.

Arjuna receiving Pashupata
Arjuna receiving Pashupata

Seven unknown facts from Mahabharata

Lord Krishna

Even Lord Krishna was once rendered helpless. This was not with force, but with love. The youngest Pandava, Sahadev once tied him with love and affection. People do not know that Sahadeva was a great astrologer as well.

Untold, Unknown facts from Mahabharata

The epic Mahabharata has many instances which reveal various aspects of human struggles. Shri Krishna, even being an incarnation of god, was deemed helpless few times. This was not because he was not capable, this was because that anyone who liked him or had a pure intent, was blessed by him in that way. Here some interesting stories are on offer, how Shri Krishna goes to any length to help his disciples and how Draupadi had a boon of virginity from Lord Shiva. These stories also tell about the powers and knowledge of youngest Panadava , Sahadeva.

When Shri Krishna was helpless

Sahadeva, the youngest of Pandavas was a very wise person. He was a great astrologer who could predict things in advance.  Once Shri Krishna asked him that what should be done to prevent Mahabharata war.

Sahadeva replied that Krishna himself must be tied down and imprisoned. He said that all Pandavas along with Duryodhana must be sent to forest and Karna must be made the king.

In response, Krishna challenged him to tie him down, Sahadeva started meditating and envisioned Krishna as a small baby and tied him down.
Shri Krishna
Shri Krishna
Since Krishna could not move out of the bondage created by Sahadeva in his meditative trance, he blessed him with divine vision and then only Sahadeva released Krishna from the bondage.

Draupadi’s virginity

Draupadi was wife of five brothers. She had a boon from Lord Shiva which she got from doing great penance. As a reward, she would get certain qualities in her husbands. This also resulted in she being the wife of five husbands.

Lord Shiva and Draupadi
Lord Shiva and Draupadi

When she complained about this to Lord Shiva, she was given another boon that she would become a virgin every morning, after taking bath. Thus she was able to become the wife of all pandavas at the same time. This is an another unknown fact from Mahabharata.

Draupadi could have fourteen husbands instead of five

Bhagwad Gita was delivered on Ekadashi

It was Mokshada Ekadashi, when Krishna gave the holy sermon of the Bhagvad Gita to the third Pandava Arjuna, as per the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The 700-verse Bhagavad Gita told at the beginning of the climactic Mahabharata war between the Pandavas and their cousins, the Kauravas at Kurukshetra.

When Duryodhana was outsmarted  – another Shri Krishna masterstroke

Sahadeva, the great astrologer was also an upright person.  Duryodhana requested Sahadeva to find him a suitable auspicious date to offer ‘Kalabali’ – a ritualistic sacrifice before war that would ensure victory for the performer.
And following the path of Dharma, Sahadeva told the recipe of pandavas downfall.
Enter Shri Krishna, when he came to know about this, he devised a way out of this. A day before the new moon, Krishna calmly went down to the banks of river Yamuna and with the help of two brahmin priests, started performing Tarpana, a ritual submitting offerings to ancestors and divine entities which is usually done only on new moon day (amavasya).
Duryodhana and Drona
Duryodhana and Drona
Brahmins nearby watched Krishna performing Tarpana on a non new moon day with surprise.  They were puzzled as to why Krishna, the all knowing supreme Lord would perform the ritual of tarpana on a non new moon day.
They thought that no way Krishna would do tarpana on the wrong day and that their own prediction of new moon day as the next day was wrong.  They were convinced that since Krishna was doing tarpana that day, then that day would indeed be new moon day as great Shri Krishna would never be wrong.

The sun god Surya and moon god Chandra who were watching the activities of Lord Krishna and other brahmins giving Tarpana on earth were intrigued as even they knew it was the next day they would align and come together to form new moon day.  They thought that there would have been a mistake somewhere and that they should bring it to the notice of Lord Krishna.

Both, Surya and Chandra descended to earth and met with Lord Krishna to enquire about the ongoing activity and explained him that it was chaturdashi, not the new moon day to perform tarpana.

Lord Krishna greeted them both and responded that it was indeed new moon that day.  The puzzled deities questioned Him how was it possible.  Krishna asked them what exactly happens on a new moon day.  The two stellar deities explained that the day when the Sun and Moon align and appear together, the lunar eclipse takes place and that day is the new moon day.

Shri Krishna on hearing that said that since that very day, Sun God Surya and Moon God Chandra came appearing together before him, it was indeed the new moon day (amavasya) and that was the reason He was performing tarpana on that day.

The Sun and Moon gods could not argue against Lord Krishna who so tactfully elaborated the reason for his strange activity and accepted His verdict and thus the entire world changed the new moon day, a day in advance to its usual occurrence at that point.

Krishna, once accomplishing this superhuman feat, at once ordered the Pandavas to perform the Kalabali from their end the very same day.  Since it was accepted by the sun and moon gods that it was indeed the new moon day, the Pandavas performed the Kalabali ritual on the newly established auspicious date which brought them victory in the Mahabharata war at Kurukshetra.  Duryodhana, on the other hand, performed the ritual on the next day (the usual new moon day) all in vain.

Shalya and Yudhishthira

In the war of Mahabharata,  Arjuna slayed all the great archers, including Karna, Bhishma and Bhima killed all Kauravas. We sometimes wonder that what other Pandavas did. This goes for Yudhisthira also. But the elder Pandava had killed a very important warrior from Kauravas side, who have been very difficult to tame.

Yudhishthira
Yudhishthira

There is an interesting story how Shalya was tricked by Duryodhana and he had to side with Kauravas against his wishes.

Yudhisthira knew this and  he extracted a promise from Shalya that he would demoralise Karna in the Mahabharata war.

Shalya had a unique quality that his opponent’s aggression would work in his favour. Due to this, it was very difficult to conquer him for any warrior. But Yudhisthira was not a man of aggression and in the war of Mahabharata, Yudhisthira could kill him with help of others.

Akshaypatra

while the Pandavas were exiled into the forest, they had a great help in form of akshaypatra. Contrary to the belief, this was provided to Yudhishthira and not Draupadi from Lord Surya.

Akshaypatra
Akshaypatra

Yudhisthira prayed Lord Surya. Pleased with Yudhishtira’s prayers, Lord Surya blessed him with the Akshaya Patra, a vessel that would give unlimited food every day till Draupadi finished eating.

Duryodhana was in heaven

While Yudhisthira was in the heaven he saw Duryodhana in an elevated seat in bright attire with all ornaments. Yudhisthira was displeased with this event and said that he was not interested the comforts at heaven along with Duryodhana.

Yudhishthira and Dog to heaven
Yudhishthira and Dog to heaven

He further added that it was for his sake all the relatives and friends were all killed in the great war of Mahabharata. It was because of him Draupadi in the presence of all noble people was utterly insulted in the royal assembly. Hence he decided that he wouldn’t like to stay in the heaven where Duryodhana was enjoying.

Yudhisthira could not see his brothers and his wife Draupadi, in heaven. This made him curious that how Pandavas were not in heaven while Duryodhana was. He was escorted to hell where he saw his brothers and wife suffering.

He was very much displeased, but soon discovered that gods have visited them there and all the pains have vanished. He was then said that all Pandavas deserved heaven and they have to spent some time in hell, because of few sins they have done.

21 facts of Lord Krishna

 

Marriage of Bhima and Hidimba – The Mahabharata

 Hidimba and Bhima

After Pandavas fled from the fire of Lakshagriha, the came to a forest. After walking for hours, they came to the part of the forest where a demon named Hidimb and his sister Hidimba lived.

The forest

Hidimb was a ferocious demon with a great appetite for human flesh. He sensed very soon that Pandavas were available for a great feast. He sent her sister ahead to Pandavas.

Hidimba and Bhima
Hidimba and Bhima

Hidimb sends Hidimba

Pandavas were sleeping and Bhima was awake looking for any troubles. Hidimba comes along and forgets immediately about the work assigned to her.

She fells in love with Bhima and she assumed the form of a very beautiful lady, approached Bhima and expressed her desire to marry him. She also revealed her true identity and her brother’s intentions.

Fight between Bhima and Hidimb

When Hidimba did not return for a long time, Hidimb went looking for her and saw her talking to Bhima. “I sent you to kill the human and you are talking to him. I will kill him myself.” Saying so, he attacked Bhima. A fierce fight followed and ended with Bhima killing Hidimb.

fight between hidimb and bhima
fight between hidimb and bhima

Proposal of marriage

After the death of her brother, Hidimba wanted to marry Bhima. Bhima refused and wanted to kill Hidimba as well, but Kunti interfered.

Condition by Kunti

 

kunti and hidimba
kunti and hidimba

Kunti’s acceded to Hidimba’s proposal, but on one condition. Once She had a child from Bhima, She must allow Bhima to leave her and join Pandavas.

Bhima’s condition

Bhima agrees to marry her, on one condition. “I will spend my time with you during the day, but I must return to my mother and brothers at nightfall. You may join us in our journey

Marriage of Bhima and Hidimba

Hidimbi happily agrees and they marry immediately. True to his word, Bhima spends every day with Hidimbi. She takes him wherever he desires and they have a wonderful, magical time together. Promptly at dusk, Bhima returns to the rest of the Pandava clan to spend the hours of the night.

Birth of Ghatotkacha

Within a year, Hidimbi gives birth to a huge half-rakshasa son, who is named Ghatotkacha, because his bald head looks like a pot. Ghatotkacha greatly loves the Pandavas and they are enamored with him.

bhima hidimba and ghatotkacha
bhima hidimba and ghatotkacha

Ghatotkacha went on to become a great warrior and an important figure in the Mahabharata war. A master wizard and sorcerer, Lord Krishna gave him a boon that no one in the world would be able to match his sorcery skills except Krishna himself.

Seven unknown facts from Mahabharata about Bhishma Pitamah

Shri Krishna challenging Bhishma in the war of Kurukshetra

Seven untold and unknown facts about Bhishma Pitamah from Mahabharata

 

Bhishma, or Devvrata will be known in the history as one of the great warriors who adorned this earth. The story of his birth was and his death were strange, but even stranger were his deeds on this planet. We all know that he has taken couple of difficult vows, but there are few other stories which are equally mesmerizing. Read on.

The vow which made Devvrata Bhishma
The vow which made Devvrata Bhishma – even devtas (gods) showered flowers on him

The garland of ever fresh lotuses

This is the story of Amba and Bhishma. It is a well known fact that Amba was discarded by her lover and Bhishma. She did severe penance to exact her revenge on Bhishma. Following this, Lord Subramanya appeared and given her a garland of lotuses which were fresh forever. This was also said that whosoever wears the garland, would be the enemy of Bhishma. Getting her desired blessing, she sought the help of the present warriors, but such was the clout of Bhishma, nobody dared to accept the garland.

Bhishma abducting Amba for Vichitravirya
Bhishma abducting Amba for Vichitravirya

Frustrated, she hanged the garland at the gates of King Drupad and left.  Later on, she dived in a pyre of fire and given her life. In her next life, she was born as a girl to Drupad and playfully wore the garland and later became the reason of Bhishma’s demise.

The stalemate between Bhishma and Parshurama – teacher and disciple

After leaving garland of Lotus, Amba reached to Parshurama and requested him to teach Bhishma a lesson. Parshurama, who also was the teacher of Bhishma, decided to fight him in order to have justice for Amba. The fight ensued for a long time and nobody could be beaten. Reason, Parshurama was akhand chiranjeevi, means one who could not die and Bhishma had a boon from his father, Shantanu, that he would be able to choose the time of his death.

The sixteen year old who held a river

Bhishma was the child of Ganga and Shantanu. There is a story of how Ganga drowned her seven sons, and Bhishma was eighth. This was because of a curse from sage Vasistha. Ganga took her eighth child away with her. After 16 years, a youth was found stopping the water flow of Ganga with a wall of arrows. When Shantanu came to know, he himself went to see that. He found a young man doing this, then he got ready to have a fight with him, the then Gangaa came, introduced him as his son and handed over him to Shantanu. Shantanu brought him home. His Guru were Parashuraam Jee and Brihaspati Jee like teachers.

Bhishma chose his date of death and waited for 58 days

Grandsire Bhishma’s body was pierced all over by arrows which served as his bed. He noticed that the sun was in Dakshinayana and hence it was not the best time to embrace death. Hence he waited 58 days for Uttarayana while lying on the bed of arrows. Bhishma Pitamaha had attained a boon from his father Shantanu that death would befall him only when he desired it.

Bhishma teaches Pandavas from the death bed

On the bed of arrows, after the war of Mahabharata was over, Pandavas reached over to Bhishma. Yudhisthira asks some questions which essentially ask how the welfare of mankind can be achieved.  Bhishma answers by stating that mankind will be free from all sorrows by chanting the [quote]”Vishnusahasranama“[/quote], which are the thousand names of the all-pervading Supreme being Vishnu, who is the master of all the worlds, the supreme light, the essence of the universe and who is Brahman. All matter animate and inanimate reside in him, and he in turn resides within all matter. This is available in anushashana parva of Mahabharata.

Bhishma teaching Pandavas from deathbed - Sharshayya
Bhishma teaching Pandavas from deathbed – Sharshayya

 

Books

An excellent book by none other than Anant Pai from Amar Chitra Katha. Third one is dedicated to the battle of Kurukshetra.

Bhishma was known as Prabhasa in earlier birth as a vasu

Vasus went for a holiday with their wives to a mountain tract where stood the hermitage of Vasishtha. One of them saw Vasishtha’s cow, Nandini, grazing there. Its divinely beautiful form attracted him and he pointed it out to the ladies. They were all loud in praise of the graceful animal, and one of them requested her husband to secure it for her. The vasu, Prabhasa explained that this cow is of no use, but on her insistence, he has given in. When Vasistha knew about, he cursed vasus to be born into the world of men. When the Vasus came to know of the curse, they asked forgiveness. Vasistha softened the curse on other brothers, but not on the one who took the cow away. This boy later became the eighth child of Ganga and Shantanu, Devvrata. He later known as Bhishma, who even caused the Lord to break his promise.

Bhishma made lord Vishnu to break his vow

Perhaps the grandest of his feats, was the occasion in the war of kurukshetra, when Shri Krishna decided to fight the grandsire. This happened after Bhishma created havoc in pandava’s army with his skills. Lord Krishna decided before the war that he will not pickup any weapon. On other hand Bhishma promised Duryodhana that he will fight like a lion and will kill Arjuna. There was an  intense battle  between Arjuna and Bhisma and Arjun being powerful still was no match for Bhishma.  Bhishma shot arrow which cut Arjuna armour and his gandiva bow. Arjuna was helpless before the wrath of the old, but powerful warrior. As Bhishma was about to kill Arjuna with his arrow Lord Krishna could not tolerate his devotee’s plight and he immediately threw down the chariot rein and jumped off the chariot onto the battle field and lifted a chariot wheel and charged Bhishma. Arjuna tried to stop Lord krishna but Lord says that in order to protect my devotee I must break my own promise.

Bhishma stories

 

How Pandavas saved at Lakshagriha ( The lacquer house)

 Vidura, Pandavas and Lakshagriha

Once, Duryodhana asked his father Dhritrashtra to send the new yuvraj to Varnavat for yearly festival. Dhritrashtra could not refuse Duryodhana and he requested eldest pandava to visit the Varnavat as his representative.

All five pandavas alongwith their mother Kunti reached Varnavat. Meanwhile Duryodhana sent Purochana to build a palace which was highly inflammable which was aptly named as Lakshagriha. The palace was ready in time and pandavas stayed in the same palace.

However, the wise Vidura had sensed something wrong, so he enquired and sent a digger to dig a secret tunnel from Lakshagriha to a river. The tunnel digger reached pandavas and offered to dig a tunnel for pandavas. Thus secretly, the work to save pandavas begun in the house of Lakshagriha.

Vidura in Mahabharata
Vidura in Mahabharata

After the work of tunnel digging was complete, pandavas were looking to find an appropriate day to make their next move. The tunnel has been made carefully and Purochana was not aware that a tunnel exists at Lakshagriha.

pandavas escape from lakshagriha
pandavas escape from lakshagriha

Pandavas invited the people for a feast. The feast was grand and everyone enjoyed them. After the feast everyone left and purochana was also sleeping. Seeing an opportune moment, pandavas set the palace of lac on fire. Then they used the tunnel dug earlier to escape from the burning palace. Bhima carried his mother and all his brothers through the tunnel. Purochana, became a  victime of his own design and was burnt while sleeping.

Lakshagriha
Lakshagriha

On that fateful day, a bhil woman with her five sons also came to the banquet and somehow they also became the victim of the fire.

Thus, by the foresight of Vidura, pandavas escaped from the ill will of Duryodhana and Shakuni. When they reached the end of the tunnel, a boat was waiting for them at the banks of river ganges, thus completing the escape of Pandavas.

Read: Unknown facts about Shakuni